Wed Mar 18 2015
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Live Index – Wed, 18 Mar 2015 Premarket

PREMARKET WORLD NEWS

June E-mini S&Ps (ESM15 -0.44%) this morning are down -0.29% and European stocks are down -0.67% as weakness in energy producers drags the overall market lower after the price of crude oil slid to a fresh 6-years low. The markets are also on edge ahead of the outcome of the 2-day FOMC meeting later today where expectations are for the Fed to drop its reference to be “patient” with raising interest rates. The 10-year Greek bond yield rose to a 1-1/4 month high of 10.917% as the Greek government prepares emergency measures to raise cash for more than 2 billion euros in debt payments due on Friday. Asian stocks closed mostly higher: Japan +0.55%, Hong Kong +0.91%, China +2.37%, Taiwan +1.19%, Australia unch, Singapore -0.24%, South Korea +0.02%, India -0.40%. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Index soared to a 14-3/4 year high after Japan Feb exports climbed more than expected, a sign the weak yen is boosting Japanese exports. China’s Shanghai Stock Index rose over 2% to a 6-3/4 year high on speculation the government will expand stimulus to spur economic growth after China Feb new home property prices fell in 66 of the 70 cities tracked by the government, up from 64 in Jan. Commodity prices are mixed. Apr crude oil (CLJ15 -2.88%) is down -2.85% at a fresh 6 -year low ahead of today’s EIA inventory report where crude supplies are projected to increase +4.4 million bbl. Apr gasoline (RBJ15 -0.69%) is down -0.88%. Apr gold (GCJ15 +0.13%) is up +0.11%. May copper (HGK15 -1.97%) is down -1.94% at a 3-week low after new home prices fell in China, which raises demand concerns. Agriculture prices are higher. The dollar index (DXY00 -0.06%) is down -0.13%. EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is up +0.26%. USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is down 0.16%. Jun T-note prices (ZNM15 +0.22%) are up +8 ticks at a 2-week high.

The Japan Feb trade balance shrank to a deficit of -424.6 billion yen, narrower than expectations of -986.6 billion yen and the smallest deficit in 20 months. Feb exports rose +2.4% y/y, stronger than expectations of +0.3%, and Feb imports unexpectedly fell -3.6% y/y, weaker than expectations of +3.2% y/y.

Eurozone Jan construction output rose +1.9% m/m and +3.0% y/y, stronger than Dec’s upward revised +0.2% m/m and -2.7% y/y.

UK Feb jobless claims fell -31,000, stronger than expectations of -30,000. The Feb claimant count rate fell -0.1 to 2.4%, right on expectations and the lowest in 6-3/4 years.

The UK Jan ILO unemployment rate was unch at 5.7% in the 3-months through Jan when expectations were for a -0.1 point decline to 5.6%.

UK Jan average weekly earnings rose +1.8% 3-month avg y/y, weaker than expectations of +2.2% 3-mon avg y/y. Jan average weekly earnings ex-bonus rose +1.6% 3-mon avg y/y, weaker than expectations of +1.8% 3-mon avg y/y.

U.S. STOCK PREVIEW

The FOMC at the conclusion of its 2-day meeting that ends today will release updated economic projections and Fed Chair Yellen will hold a press conference. There are 5 of the Russell 1000 companies that report earnings today: FedEx (consensus $ 1.88), General Mills (0.67), Cintas (0.78), Williams-Saonoma (1.52), Jabil Circuit (0.45), Platform Specialty Products (0.20).

Equity conferences during the remainder of this week include: Consumer Analyst Group of Europe Conference on Mon-Wed, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Industrials & EU Autos Conference on Tue-Thu, Barclays Atlanta Utilities Conference on Wed, Wells Fargo Asset Managers, Brokers & Exchanges Conference on Wed, ISI Retail Summit on Wed, Barclays Power and Utilities CFO Corporate Day on Wed, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases and Related Neurological Disorders (AD/PD) on Fri.

 

 

 

PREMARKET U.S. STOCKS

Ryerson (RYI +4.24%) was downgraded to ‘Neutral’ from ‘Overweight’ at JPMorgan Chase.

Navistar (NAV -0.03%) was downgraded to ‘Underweight’ from ‘Equal Weight’ at Morgan Stanley.

USG (USG -0.52%) was downgraded to ‘Neutral’ from ‘Outperform’ at RW Baird.

Macerich (MAC -3.47%) was downgraded to ‘Sell’ from ‘Neutral’ at UBS.

Jefferies downgraded Salix Pharmaceuticals (SLXP -0.16%) to a ‘Hold’ from ‘Buy’ with a $ 173 price target.

FedEx (FDX -0.91%) reported Q3 EPS of $ 2.01, higher than consensus of $ 1.87.

General Mills (GIS -0.69%) reported Q3 EPS of 70 cents, better than consensus of 67 cents.

GIC Private Limited reported a 5.02% passive stake in Dollar General (DG -0.90%) .

Quiksilver (ZQK +3.66%) reported a Q1 continuing operating EPS loss of -11 cents, a smaller loss than consensus of -14 cents, but then lowered guidance on fiscal 2015 revenue estimate to $ 1.38 billion to $ 1.45 billion, below consensus of $ 1.49 billion.

Adobe (ADBE +1.70%) fell over 3% in after-hours trading after it reported Q1 adjusted EPS of 44 cents, higher than consensus of 39 cents, but then lowered guidance on Q2 EPS to 41 cents to 47 cents, less than consensus of 48 cents.

Oracle (ORCL -1.24%) climbed nearly 2% in after-hours trading after it reported Q3 EPS of 68 cents, right on consensus, but said that cloud bookings are now growing by 100% per year.

MARKET COMMENTS

Jun E-mini S&Ps (ESM15 -0.44%) this morning are down -6.00 points (-0.29%). The S&P 500 index on Tuesday closed lower: S&P 500 -0.33%, Dow Jones -0.71%, Nasdaq +0.12%. Bearish factors included (1) the -17.0% drop in U.S. Feb housing starts, weaker than expectations of -2.4% to 1.040 million and the lowest in 13 months, (2) weakness in energy producers as crude oil fell to a fresh 6-year low, and (3) long liquidation pressure in stocks ahead of the outcome of the 2-day FOMC meeting on Wednesday where the Fed is expected to remove the “patient” wording from its policy stance, which signals it is closer to raising interest rates.

Jun 10-year T-notes (ZNM15 +0.22%) this morning are up +8 ticks at a 2-week high. Jun 10-year T-note futures prices on Tuesday climbed to a 2-week high and closed higher. Closes: TYM5 +9.00, FVM5 +2.00. Bullish factors included (1) the weaker-than-expected U.S. Feb housing starts, and (2) the plunge in crude oil to a 6-year low which reduces inflation expectations after the 10-year T-note breakeven inflation rate fell to a 6-week low.

The dollar index (DXY00 -0.06%) this morning is down -0.129 (-0.13%). EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is up +0.0028 (+0.26%). USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is down -0.20 (-0.16%). The dollar index on Tuesday closed lower: Dollar index -0.019 (-0.02%), EUR/USD +0.00288 (+0.27%), USD/JPY +0.033 (+0.03%). Bearish factors included (1) the weaker-than-expected U.S. Feb housing starts report, which spurred long liquidation in the dollar ahead of the outcome of the 2-day FOMC meeting on Wednesday, and (2) strength in EUR/USD after the German ZEW survey expectations of economic growth rose to a 13-month high.

Apr WTI crude oil (CLJ15 -2.88%) this morning is down -$ 1.24 a barrel (-2.85%) at a fresh 6-year low and Apr gasoline (RBJ15 -0.69%) is down -0.0153 (-0.88%). Apr crude oil and gasoline prices on Tuesday settled mixed with Apr crude at a 6-year low: CLJ5 -0.42 (-0.96), RBJ5 +0.0015 (+0.09%). Bearish factors included (1) expectations that Wednesday’s EIA data will show that U.S. crude stockpiles rose +4.4 million bbl and added to record U.S. inventories, and (2) the slide in stocks which reduced optimism about the economic outlook and energy demand. Apr gasoline recovered from a 6-week low and closed higher on bullish factors that included (1) a weaker dollar, and (2) expectations that Wednesday’s EIA inventory data will show gasoline supplies fell -850,000 bbl.

GLOBAL EVENT CALENDAR03/18/2015
US0700 ETWeekly MBA mortgage applications, previous -1.3% with purchase sub-index +1.9% and refi sub-index -2.9%.
1030 ETEIA Weekly Petroleum Status Report.
1400 ETFOMC announces interest rate decision.
JPN0200 ETRevised Japan Feb machine tool orders, previous +28.9% y/y.
UK0530 ETUK Feb jobless claims change expected -30,000, Jan -38,600. Feb claimant count rate expected -0.1 to 2.4%, Jan 2.5%.
0530 ETUK Jan average weekly earnings expected +2.2% 3-mon avg y/y, Dec +2.1% 3-mon avg y/y. Jan weekly earnings ex-bonus expected +1.8% 3-mon avg y/y, Dec +1.7% 3-mon avg y/y.
0530 ETUK Jan ILO unemployment rate expected -0.1 to 5.6% for the 3-months through Jan, previous +5.7% for the 3-months through Dec.
0530 ETMinutes of the Mar 4-5 BOE policy meeting.
EUR0600 ETEurozone Jan construction output, Dec -0.8% m/m and -3.5% y/y.
U.S. STOCK CALENDAR03/18/2015
CompanyTickerTimeEvent DescriptionPeriodEstimate
General Mills IncGIS USBef-mktQ3 2015 Earnings ReleaseQ3 20150.665
Progressive Corp/ThePGR USBef-mktFebruary 2015 Sales and Revenue Release2015
Platform Specialty Products CorpPAH USBef-mktQ4 2014 Earnings ReleaseQ4 20140.195
FedEx CorpFDX US7:30Q3 2015 Earnings ReleaseQ3 20151.878
Platform Specialty Products CorpPAH US8:00Q4 2014 Earnings CallQ4 2014
FedEx CorpFDX US8:30Q3 2015 Earnings CallQ3 2015
General Mills IncGIS US8:30Q3 2015 Earnings CallQ3 2015
FactSet Research Systems IncFDS US8:30Investor DayY 2015
Realogy Holdings CorpRLGY US9:00Investor DayY 2015
Agilent Technologies IncA US11:00Annual General MeetingY 2015
Starbucks CorpSBUX US13:00Annual General MeetingY 2015
T-Mobile US IncTMUS US13:00Un-Carrier Event
Jabil Circuit IncJBL US16:30Q2 2015 Earnings CallQ2 2015
Hewlett-Packard CoHPQ US17:00Annual General MeetingY 2015
Cintas CorpCTAS US17:00Q3 2015 Earnings CallQ3 2015
Williams-Sonoma IncWSM US17:00Q4 2015 Earnings CallQ4 2015
Cintas CorpCTAS USAft-mktQ3 2015 Earnings ReleaseQ3 20150.784
Williams-Sonoma IncWSM USAft-mktQ4 2015 Earnings ReleaseQ4 20151.516
Jabil Circuit IncJBL USAft-mktQ2 2015 Earnings ReleaseQ2 20150.446
Raymond James Financial IncRJF USFebruary 2015 Sales and Revenue Release – Operating Data2015
AT&T IncT USApple Inc. Will Replace AT&T Inc. in DJIA
Apple IncAAPL USApple Inc. Will Replace AT&T Inc. in DJIA

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